Graphic Novel Review: The Summer Of Her Life by Thomas von Steinaecker and Barbara Yelin
Posted on May 13, 2021 at 7:17 am by Gene Ambaum
The Summer Of Her Life by Thomas von Steinaecker and Barbara Yelin. Translated by John Reddick. SelfMadeHero, 2020. 9781910593783. 78pp.
Frau Gerda Wendt spends her days in and around an old folks home with the help of her walker. It feels like she’s already dead, like time has already stopped. She spends a lot of her time thinking about the past, even though it’s painful, because it makes her feel alive.
Young Gerda was great at math, socially awkward, and fascinated by stars. She seemed on her way to an academic life even though the fact that she was a woman surprised some. Then she chose love and a family over her career, but what she studied continues to affect how she saw the world. Her story has an amazing, beautiful ending that’s entirely poetic, and reminds me of the Japanese film After Life.
This graphic novel is an obvious readalike for Wrinkles by Paco Roca, which centers on a new nursing home resident with dementia. It shows him and a few of his friends drifting in and out of the present and into the lives they used to live (or maybe just imagine they